NEWCASTLE United’s international stars are set to miss the club’s first friendly of the summer – but Joe Kinnear will be involved.
Yohan Cabaye, Fabricio Coloccini, Cheik Tiote, Papiss Cisse and Matthieu Debuchy have all been granted extra time off after their excursions this month with the national teams.
Newcastle confirmed yesterday that the players will report back for pre-season training on Wednesday, July 3, although the five players will be given another week and a half to rest after playing international football since last season ended.
That means French duo Cabaye and Debuchy, captain Coloccini, and African pair Tiote and Cisse are unlikely to play in the first friendly of the summer, at Motherwell on July 16.
However, SportMail understands that new director of football Kinnear plans on travelling with the squad to every pre-season friendly – including the week-long training camp in Portugal.
Kinnear wants to keep a close eye on proceedings as he works alongside Alan Pardew in helping the club prepare for the new campaign.
Champions League qualifiers Motherwell begin the Magpies’ summer fixtures, then Pardew will take his squad to northern Portugal for a training camp, with two friendly games also set to be played there.
Newcastle will face Rio Ave – who finished sixth in the Portuguese league last season – on July 20, before coming up against Pacos de Ferreira, who qualified for Europe by finishing third, three days later.
United’s only away friendly in England will be when they travel to Blackpool on July 28, and then they will go back to Scotland to face St Mirren two days later.
The game against the Buddies was set up after a relationship formed between the two clubs following the loan spells of Paul Dummett and Conor Newton.
The last friendly of the summer for Pardew’s side will be at St James’s Park against Braga on August 10, a week before the new Premier League season begins.
Cisse played two World Cup qualifiers for Senegal, scoring three times, while Tiote was also involved in qualifiers for Ivory Coast. Cabaye and Debuchy were part of France’s South American tour, while Coloccini played in Argentina’s friendly against Guatemala.